Europe’s legal cannabis market set to become worth more than €115 billion

A new report from industry advisers, Prohibition Partners, suggests that Europe will become the largest legal cannabis market in the world once all countries have introduced legislation and regulation during the next 10 years

Cannabis is set to become the dot-com boom of the early 21st century. It will drive economic and employment growth as well as having a significant impact on a wide range of social and health issues.

The third edition of the European Cannabis Report explores Europe's complex regulatory environment while providing a detailed analysis of 28 countries that are key markets across the medical, recreational and industrial sectors.

The report covers commercial opportunities, healthcare analysis, consumption levels, legislation and regulation across the region.

This includes detailed market value forecasts, regulatory timeline analysis, consumption data and healthcare analyses for the 28 key markets.

Key findings from the report

In 2018, more than six new countries have announced medical legalisation, patient numbers have grown by 40% month on month and more than €150 million has been invested in the European cannabis industry.

Some form of medical cannabis (or cannabis-based medicine) is now legal in 22 countries in the region, with a further 12 countries decriminalising the recreational use of personal amounts of cannabis.

By 2028, the vast majority of European states will pass legislation legalising medical cannabis programmes and recreational cannabis markets.

Europe has a market of more than 742 million people and a combined GDP of €15.3 trillion for the EU in 2017. By 2028, it will become the largest cannabis market in the world, valued at €115.7 billion.

Although the current recreational cannabis market is worth more than €30 billion, by 2028, the medical cannabis market will be valued at €55+ billion and the recreational cannabis market will be worth €60+ billion across both primary and secondary services to the cannabis industry, assuming that all European countries have legalised medical cannabis and recreational cannabis by 2023.

For international cannabis companies, Europe will be one of the most difficult markets to enter due to the strict regulatory framework, complex licensing and trading requirements, and cultural and societal nuances around cannabis consumption.